Our autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is one of the coolest mass-production cars to come out of the 1980s. But this one is even more special. It's had some serious custom work that makes it very rare. Plus nearly double the power of the cars the manufacturer built. It's a 1987 Pontiac Fiero. With a convertible top. And a supercharger.
Calling the Fiero one of the coolest cars of the 1980s might be a bold statement, but we'll stand by it. After all, it's one of the only mid-engine cars ever built that didn't have a price tag that approached that of a house. GM wanted a small and sporty two-seater that delivered economy instead of challenging the Corvette for top-dog at GM.
Engineers picked the mid-engine layout because it reduced drag, cut weight, and improved vehicle efficiency and performance. It also happened that they could use any one of GM's front-drive engine and transmission layouts to save cost. Just toss everything in the back and you get a rear-drive supercar look-alike.
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The rear suspension bits were so similar to GM's front-drive cars that the Fiero even has tie rod ends and a steering knuckle in the back. They're just fixed in place so that the rear wheels don't decide to set off on their own while you're driving.
Being one of the only affordable mid-engine cars, and having a very 1980s wedge shape, the Fiero easily lent itself to customization. Kits were designed to turn the car into a Ferrari or a Lamborghini look-alike.
Converting the cars into a convertible was a somewhat popular choice as well, like this car. The cars were sold by Holland Pontiac, in Massillon, Ohio, as new. The dealership had cars converted by Conversion Concepts, a company in Florida that did aftermarket modifications like this one. It added about $6,000 USD to the price of a base Fiero. This was a real top. It opens, closes, and keeps the rain out. The dealership built and sold somewhere around 90 of these cars in 1987. Not bad for a small town an hour south of Akron.
But this Fiero saw more changes than just having the top removed. Pontiac initially put economy-minded engines in their affordable sports car. The stock 2.5 L four-cylinder made just under 100 hp. In 1985, a 2.8 L V6 version arrived that made 140 hp and could be had with a four-speed manual. This was better, especially for that time in emission-strapped history.
The thing about using that front-drive GM driveline, though, is the opportunity to utilize the automaker's wide range of similar and shared parts across many lines and brands. Where the 2.8 L V6 would fit, so would some of the company's bigger engines, making for some easy swaps using factory parts. This car got one of those swaps. Say farewell to the anemic original engine, say hello to GM's 3.8 L Series II supercharged V6.
More displacement and the addition of boost means 240 hp instead of the stock 98 (this was originally a 4-cyl car), giving the Fiero performance that was more aligned with its appearance.
This car is for sale in Scarborough, ON. In addition to the engine swap and convertible conversion, it's got some other upgrades like embroidered seats, larger brakes, 17-inch wheels, and a new audio system. It's got 109,000 km on the odometer and looks ready to go for summer. With one of the best 1980s accessories of all, the nose mask. Why did the car bra ever disappear?
If you're looking for a mid-engine supercharged roadster that won't break the bank, then this might be just what you're looking for.